MARION, Ind. -- No. 18-ranked Taylor (Ind.) University ended a nearly decade long drought against Indiana Wesleyan University men's soccer tonight with a 2-0 victory on a rainy, soggy evening at Wildcat Field.
Indiana Wesleyan (10-7-0, 4-4-0 MCC) had not lost to Taylor since 2001, owning a 7-0-3 record against their cross-county rivals. But Taylor ended that run tonight as they remain unbeaten in Mid-Central College Conference play with a 7-0-1 mark.
Despite the loss for the Wildcats, they made it very difficult for the visitors, who clinched the conference championship with the win and a loss by Bethel (Ind.) College at Goshen (Ind.) College.
"I felt we started the game pretty well," said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Mark Castro. "It was all down on their side and we had them under pressure."
Taylor (15-1-1) withstood the offensive attacks from Indiana Wesleyan and then caused a turnover which resulted in the first score of the match.
"We had to be clean in the back and not make mistakes because of the conditions," continued Castro. "We had pretty good shape. Then we played it forward and gave it away. Taylor immediately sprung in and we got caught in transition. That was their first opportunity to score and they finished it."
The goal by Danny Cawley came in the 18th minute of play and was the only score in the opening half.
Indiana Wesleyan came out of halftime and again put the Taylor defense under heavy pressure. But the opportunities did not finish with the game-tying strike.
Taylor would capitalize once again with a goal after withstanding pressure from the Indiana Wesleyan offense. And for the second time on Tuesday, it was Cawley who scored in the 53rd minute.
"This game was a matter of inches and just small technical ability, or lack of technical ability on our part," stated Castro. "They capitalized on their opportunities and we didn't."
The Wildcats would close the game with a 12-9 advantage in shots. IWU sophomore goalkeeper Zach Hammon made two saves in net for the Wildcats in his second start of the season.
"We are hoping to see Taylor again, hopefully in the postseason," added Castro. "But tonight Taylor did things a little bit better than Indiana Wesleyan did. They finished their chances and we did not so they deserved to win tonight."
Indiana Wesleyan returns to the pitch on Friday night in the final regular season match of the season. IWU hosts Spring Arbor (Mich.) University at 7 p.m. on October 21 which will be Senior Night for Jesse Bassett, David Enger, Zach Grantham, Erik Johnson, Josh McKinley, Ben Stoddard, and Ross Tanzer.